The trend of Malay households in Singapore conversing in English even at home has seen a rise, with about 67% of Malay families using English as their only choice of language at home. Thus, their children will grow up in an environment where Malay language is as alien to them as to other non-Malay families.
Is this worrying? If Malay children do not even learn Malay at home, with parents emphasizing the importance of English, then will the language itself slowly die a slow death? These children will learn their Malay in schools, but it will not be language of choice for them when communicating with other Malay friends. Then when these children grow up, they will definitely speak English only to their children, as their own Malay are not up to scratch.
Thus, are we looking at the last generation of Malays in Singapore who actually converses in Malay? The next generation will never pick up the language as we did, and therein lies the danger of the language itself dying off. Speaking Malay a generation from now would be like a novelty, an exotic language that only some Singaporeans can speak well.
The real worry is, once the Malay language dies off, what is next? The Malay culture? The Malay tradition? Malays in Singapore itself?
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